Modern Surfing

Surfing remained popular in Hawaii over the centuries, but never caught on in the United States until the early 20th century, when George Freeth visited California and began giving surfing demonstrations.

Freeth, a half-Hawaiian/half-Irish native of Oahu, came to Huntington Beach, California, in 1907 to demonstrate surfing as part of the opening festivities for a new railroad.

Following that demonstration, he traveled up and down the California coast, demonstrating surfing and teaching lifeguard skills. Freeth is considered by most historians to be the first modern surfer.

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